Thursday, November 14, 2013

Discounts and offers on the Volkswagen Polo GT TDI start

The Volkswagen Polo GT TDI is the most powerful mass segment diesel hatchback in India. It uses the same 1.6-litre diesel engine as seen in the Vento diesel and at just over Rs 8 lac (ex-showroom), makes for one hell of a buy!
However, at the same time, we all know the market is going through a tough phase and discounts are being offered on everything from a hatchback to a luxury sedan. Volkswagen has been offering benefits on the Polo for a while and now, are doing the same on the new GT TDI as well.
According to the newspaper advertisement, the Polo GT TDI comes with benefits like
- free insurance for 3 years
- free extended warranty for 3 years
- Maintenance for 3 years (at a nominal extra EMI we believe)
- free 24x7 Road side assistance for 3 years.

Alternatively, if a buyers doesnt want to opt for these, he can avail benefits of Rs 25,000 (which might be a cash discount on the ex-showroom price) and exchange bonus of Rs 10,000. Sounds interested? For sure!

Read - Launch report of the GT TDI

Monday, November 04, 2013

Planning to eat at McDonalds? Carry your own ketchup and tissues please!

Planning to head to a nearby McDonalds?

Do remember to carry your own ketchup and tissue papers then!

Being a lazy Monday (and post Diwali weekday), a few of us decided to head to McDonalds for lunch. This one is in Omaxe City Centre, Sohna Road, Gurgaon, India

We ordered for three meals and the total bill came to Rs 486.
Dated: 4th November.
Invoice number: 014101100031472
Crew ID: 37641

The cashier first kept just three sachets of ketchup. I then requested for some chilly ketchup too and he kept 2 more. Thats a total of 5 sachets for 3 meals for a bill of 486.

Needless to say I got a bit bugged and questioned the cashier. He then put one more chilly sachet and we now had 6 sachets for 3 meals - 3 burgers and 3 fries. I demanded more and quick came a reply - sir extra ketchup is chargeable. Yes, that's was an eye opener and did wade off a bit of sleep that was still lingering on my to nervous system.

While cost cutting is the "IN" thing, McDonalds belongs to the hospitality industry where going an extra mile for customer service is often the norm. Whatever happened to customer focus at McDonalds?

Next, the number of tissues provided to us was also exactly THREE. So, I guess the new "rule" at McDonalds is 2 sachets of ketchup and 1 tissue per meal. Did they forget the kids (that make up a substantial percentage) who need atleast 3-4 tissues? Or do they want us all to start licking our fingers clean?

No wait - McDonalds probably wants us to carry our own ketchup and tissues from now. Right there - so, if you are planning to head to the nearest McDonalds, dont forget these two essentials. Infact, I will start keeping these in my car as well. I do use "Drive-in" a lot you see ;)

Please share among other regular McDonalds customers as well for a social cause.

Saturday, March 16, 2013

Nissan Sunny Automatic price to start at Rs 8.2 lac

Nissan India is all set to launch the automatic version of the Sunny sedan in India. The Nissan Sunny Automatic will be sold in two trim levels of XL and XV with prices being
1. Nissan Sunny Automatic XL : Rs 8.2 lac, ex-showroom Delhi
2. Nissan Sunny Automatic XV: Rs 9.1 lac, ex-showroom Delhi

Note that these are approximate prices and may vary by 5-10%

The Nissan Sunny Automatic makes use of the same X-tronic transmission as found in the Renault Scala. The modern X-tronic transmission helps keep fuel efficiency in check and in fact, the Sunny A/T ends up delivering an economy of 17.97kmpl as per ARAI!

The biggest USP of the Sunny AT will be the pricing - as compared to the Scala, the Sunny A/T will be cheaper and hence probably a better alternative to the likes automatic versions of the Honda City, Skoda Rapia and VW Vento!

Skoda Rapid AT starts from Rs 8.7 lac
Honda City AT starts from Rs 9.2 lac

Friday, October 26, 2012

Honda CB500, CBR500, CB500X details : coming to India

Just over two weeks from today, on the 13th November 2012, Honda will be showcasing three new 500cc models at the EICMA show in Milan. These are the
1. Honda CB500 : Naked version, looks like the grown up CBR250
2. Honda CBR500 : Sports bike version
3. Honda CB500X : touring version, looks like a scaled down NC700S.

Now, all the three bikes share the same platform and the same engines though they will be tuned and geared differently for different purposes. Likewise, the CB500X might appeal to the growing segment of tourers in India. The engine specs of the bikes are
1. Capacity - 470cc
2. Power - 45-50Bhp
3. Gears - 6
4. Top speed - 180 - 200km/h (depending on model)
5. Fuel economy - 20-25 (city) and 28-30 (highway)

Growing markets like India sure have a demand for such affordable big bikes. The CBR250R for example has been doing good business for Honda here but again, we dont know if this new 500cc family will be manufactured in India, or assembled, or imported as CBU. We only hope HMSI goes the right away and looks at either manufacturing or assembling these in 2013 - these will be made in Thailand and hence can be imported as CKD kits into India via the FTA. Prices hence could start at around the Rs 4 lac mark, giving other affordable big bikes a run for their money.

Features expected on these new bikes
1. Telescopic forks (no USD)
2. Single front disc (no double)
3. ABS
4. Digital console

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

2013 MV Agusta Brutale 1090, 1090R, 1090RR details

MV Agusta has just let out details on the 2013 line up of Brutale - the 1090, 1090R and 1090RR. Before I let out the press release, here is what you need to know
  1. Two power options will be offered.
  2. The 2013 MV Agusta Brutale 1090 RR will ofcourse be the most powerful
  3. As expected, daytime running lights added
  4. New alloy wheels are roughly 1.5 kg lighter
  5. The seat has been redesigned, as well as the front fender. 
  6. Power of the normal version is 144, of the 1090RR is 158! 

Here is the official press release, thanks to

  • The most celebrated four-cylinder naked has been redesigned with increased charm, components and quality of finish.
  • Three Brutale variants with three distinct characters. The Brutale 4 cylinder 2013 range is based on three new models: Brutale 1090, Brutale 1090 R and Brutale 1090 RR.


  • In detail, the main features of MV Agusta Brutale are:
  • In-line four cylinder engine with two configurations of maximum power
  • Traction control adjustable on 8 levels
  • Modular frame with tubular steel trellis section and aluminum plates offering a high torsional stiffness
  • Single-sided swing arm with adjustable absorber
  • 50 mm diameter inverted forks
  • Brakes with radial front calipers


Form and function: following these inspirational principles Brutale continues to fascinate and has evolved in many details. Having immediate impact are the lighting elements, day running lights, arranged symmetrically on either side of the dashboard cover: capable of enhancing the whole frontal section, also making the motorcycle more visible and therefore safe during day and night. Another ray of light comes from the four-cylinder engine, now silver, a color that emphasizes its compactness and accurate implementation of all its elements. The same chromatic range characterizes the new wheels, a unique design in the motorcycle industry: the multiple spokes are split and give rise to a fascinating design and the same time efficient, considering the weight of a pair of wheels has been decreased by about 1.500 grams compared to those fitted on previous models. The two new double exhaust silencers, a key element of the design, have become even more racing thanks to tapered ends, with a decisive diagonal cut reminiscent of American dragsters. The surface finish enhances its compact size; the new aluminum plate that prevents contact with the pipes has been redefined.

Updated features also for the new tail light, now with latest technology contour illumination, and rear view mirrors having a revised design for the Brutale 1090. On Brutale 1090 R and Brutale 1090 RR the indicators are integrated within the mirrors, benefitting look and dimensions; on these same models, the rear indicators use LEDs. The license plate holder is now metal, lighter and essential, and therefore able to further enhance the design of the compact, unique tail. On Brutale 1090 the new single piece seat benefits from new curves, improved ergonomics and a higher level of finish. Lastly, the front fender has also been redesigned with ample openings to reduce weight.


The inline four-cylinder architecture of the MV Agusta is part of history and this engine is found on the complete Brutale range. With a displacement of 1078 cc, it employ’s a bore and stroke of 79mm and 55 mm. Unique to the motorcycle industry is the double overhead camshaft with four valves per cylinder which are arranged in a radial pattern. The engine employs both water and oil cooling with separate radiators. Two engine configurations are offered, they are characterized by different values of maximum power and torque: Brutale 1090 and Brutale 1090 R reach 144 hp (106 kW) at 10,300 rev / min and 112 Nm (11.4 kgm) of torque; Brutale 1090 RR reaches the impressive power of 158 hp (116.5 kW) at 11,900 rev / min and 100 Nm (10.2 kgm) of torque at 10,100 rev / min. The cassette style removable gearbox is a six speed, constant mesh, another touch that makes MV Agusta exclusive. The multi-plate clutch in runs in an oil bath and on the Brutale 1090 RR it employs race track derived slipper clutch unit.


The composite frame of the Brutale is composed of the high strength tubular ALS steel front section coupled to the single sided swingarm by two aluminum plates. This configuration provides the best balance between efficiency and weight, as well as a characteristic of every MV Agusta. Size and dimensions remain the same: wheelbase of 1438 mm Brutale 1090 RR (1430mm on Brutale 1090 and Brutale 1090 R), trail of 103.5 mm.


Brutal continues to be the benchmark for handling thanks to the continually refined and improved suspension. The 50 mm diameter front forks are fully adjustable by means of special external adjusters: compression on one leg, rebound on the other and spring preload on both legs. The new axle carrier allows quick release of the front wheel: a touch of functionality typically found only on race bikes. The shock is completely tunable with some distinctions depending on the version: on the Brutale 1090 and Brutale 1090 R it is possible to adjust the rebound and spring preload; Brutale 1090 RR offers a wider range of adjustment, in addition to the spring preload and rebound damping it is also possible to vary the low and high speed hydraulic compression damping.


The braking system of every Brutale employs components of the highest quality: two front discs 310 mm in diameter for Brutale 1090 and Brutale 1090 R, 320 mm discs are used on the and Brutale 1090 RR, floating, with steel braking disks and an aluminum disk carrier. The rear disc is also made of steel with a diameter of 210 mm. Calipers are four-piston front and rear; Brutale 1090 RR employs Brembo monobloc front calipers for maximum braking efficiency and weight reduction.

Colors and pricing

The new Brutale range is offered in 3 color combinations for each model with pricing starting at 12.990€*.

Brutale 1090:

- Matt Black – Matt pearl white – Matt metallic grey

Brutale 1090 R:

- Metallic black – Pastel red – Silver

Brutale RR:
- Pastel red/Silver – Metallic gold/Pearl white – Metallic blue/Pearl white

*Every country could have a price variation due to local import duties and taxes.

Thursday, June 28, 2012

Why you should keep an eye on trucks around you!

While casually surfing through a few videos on youtube,  I happened to come across this interesting video. It goes to show why we should always keep an eye on fast moving commercial vehicles on Indian roads, most of which are not maintained well by their owners. For example, rising rubber costs have shot up the tyre prices and hence we usually dont see brand new tyres on trucks nowadays. Needless to say, the probability of tyres giving way due to speeds, heat build up and load is high now.
Have a look at this video then - the Corolla guy is casually driving in this lane when the left front tyre of the truck blows out - what happens later should left to the video.
So, the next time you are out on the road, specially on highways, keep this video in mind

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

New Chevrolet Cruze price in India

The new Chevrolet Cruze, with more power and the same exterior design mind you, is slated for launch tomorrow, ie on the 27th of June 2012. The press conference starts at around 11:30am which means the price announcement should come in by around 12:30pm.
The current Chevrolet Cruze range starts at Rs 12.54 lac for the base diesel variant, going upto Rs 15.05 for the top end automatic diesel (ex-showroom Delhi).
Now, the new Cruze will simply have more power with the same looks - up from 148Bhp to 164Bhp : a full 16 extra horses. Fuel economy too is said to have improved.
So, what is the new price for the new Chevrolet Cruze? Will it be the same or upped by 40-50,000 bucks? Our guess is as good as yours - stay tuned for more! 

Monday, June 25, 2012

New Triumph Trophy 1215 : First look review

A few days back, we spoke about the limited edition Triumph Daytona 675 and its possibilities of coming to the Indian market later this year. While that possibility might seem bleak, what we have here could pretty well come to India - the all-new 1215cc Triumph Trophy!
It uses the same 132Bhp engine from the Tiger Explorer and the power is delivered via shaft drive to the rear wheel. The new long distance tourer will have electrically adjustable windscreen, 6.9 U.S. gallon fuel capacity, standard large panniers (with optional trunk), ride-by-wire throttle that allows sophisticated traction control and cruise control, as well as linked ABS. Ofcourse there will be the SE version and will come standard with adjustable electronic suspension, tire pressure monitoring and a powerful integrated audio system with Bluetooth.

Expect the bike to be available in the international markets like the US and Canada by Jan 2013. In India, sale of Triumph bikes starts in 2-4 months and knowing our love for big and long distance bikes, the Trophy does make sense here. Pricing? Our guess is as good as yours at this stage!

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